Raymond van Barneveld is back in the winners circle on the PDC Tour with victory in Players Championship Five.

Raymond van Barneveld wins Players Championship Five, ends three-year wait for PDC title

 

 

Raymond van Barneveld is back in the winners circle on the PDC Tour with victory in Players Championship Five.

 

Over the years, the legendary Dutchman has not necessarily been known for his form away from the television cameras, yet it is now a necessity to keep himself in the World Championship every year.

 

Before Monday’s tournament in Hildesheim, qualifying for the Alexandra Palace was far from a given, yet the five-time world champion has effectively guaranteed his place with this success.

 

Van Barneveld did things the hard way in terms of names overcome, including Michael Smith and Gary Anderson, but he was only extended to a deciding leg on one occasion all day.

 

That came against Anderson in the semi-finals, the majority of the contest going with throw until the final stages, and a 14-darter in the final leg got Van Barneveld over the line.

 

In the final against Stephen Bunting, the 56-year-old recorded a dominant 8-1 triumph, being efficient rather than spectacular with none of the eight winning legs better than 14 darts.

 

Nevertheless, Van Barneveld will not care, the win strengthening his position inside the world’s top 32 and having the backup of effectively already having enough money on his ProTour ranking to qualify regardless.

 

Furthermore, he is also now ranked eighth in the race for a World Matchplay spot, holding a near £10,000 advantage over 17th position, and he has catapulted himself into sixth spot in the race for a World Grand Prix place.

 

Teenager Luke Littler was not present at the event, taking a break after the efforts of the last two months, while Michael van Gerwen reached the last 16 before losing to Peter Wright.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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